Saturday, August 26, 2017

Self Absorbtion Talk

"You're such a good speaker," someone told my mama after she gave a devotional.  

"Oh, I'm more of a talker than a speaker," she replied.

I think I'm very much like Mama.  

How does one distinguish between speaking and talking?  I shun the word blabbermouth. But sometimes the line between the two is a matter of temperance.  Speaking should balance with listening.

I do love to share what God is doing in my life through conversation or a devotional.  I am a teacher. Someone might then say, "I wish I could speak."  God gave us all abilities, gifts to use for His glory and for others. Imagine a teacher who was petrified to speak!   

So if God called you to help or serve others, your gift may not be speaking or teaching. Gift projection (thinking everyone should do what I'm called to do) and gift envy ("I wish I could. . .") are traps that sidetrack us from God's call on our lives.

My real need was to learn to LISTEN. To be silent. Silent time with God also helps me do so with others. I see myself as a soft shoulder for others to cry on. I hurt with the hurting. Mama was like that too. As a talker though I have to hold back at times on giving advice, when all they want is an ear. Easy? No.

Years ago a depressed friend called me almost every evening, often interrupting our family supper. Because her "Hello" began in tears, I'd leave the table and miss our family mealtime.   They grew to resent it, obvious by the eye rolling and waves when the phone rang.  

She complained and whined endlessly day after day.  I decided not to say a thing about myself for a week.  She never noticed.  She didn't care about my life.  She was really more of a neighbor than a friend. Self absorbed.

I never want to become that person, consumed by self-absorbtion talk. Every trial must be shared in droning detail.  Every good deed must be proclaimed for others to hear. There's no heavenly reward in that!  It can lead to approval addiction.

As Dr. Phil says, "There's something about you I don't like in me." 

Sometimes my best motivator is seeing the mote in someone else and realizing it disturbs me because it's a reflection of my own beam!

I learned some lessons from those nightly phone calls.  Talking comes easy.  Listening is an acquired skill.  Every thought in my head does not need to be spoken.  JUST SHUT UP!  

This lady's writing reveals the desperate lengths this road takes one into a constant need to be heard and approved of by others.  

Approval Addiction

23 Mar 2010

Shari Braendel

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (NIV)


One day I got tired of hearing myself talk.

During a time when everything seemed to be going well, I found myself in a whirlwind where God revealed to me that my life was actually out of control. I knew I was walking the path He had laid out for me and it lined up with my passion for helping others. The problem was that I had become so good at it I didn't feel the need to call on God's help anymore.

What I did come to need, however, was others to tell me I was doing a good job. In fact, if someone didn't pat me on the back, I would tell them about my good deeds!

Everywhere I went people told me how skilled I was at do ing this particular thing. I had become so adept at it that I figured there was no need to consult God anymore. I stopped praying much about it and would just "do." In the middle of my doing, however, I would make sure and ask others if I was doing it okay.

One day I was talking to someone and God allowed me to see myself, almost like I was listening as an outsider. I hated what I had become. Who was this person? Why was she talking so much? Who cared that she did this or that? Oh my goodness, what had become of me?!

I decided that day to stop talking about myself. I decided to quit depending on other people's thoughts about what I was doing, or how I was doing it. I decided that the only One I needed to impress was God. I knew that it wasn't going to happen without thought and planning. This desire for approval was not going to go away by itself.

First, I sat down and had a good cry. Then I consulted God and prayed. I made a decision to be quiet about myself for 30 days. Whenever I talked to someone, I would not mention "me" at all. I would not recount my accomplishments, my breakthroughs, or my shortcomings. Nothing. I decided to begin listening to others as if hearing them for the first time. If they asked about me, I would simply answer, "I'm doing great, thank you." That's it. No more information. I wanted to turn outward and begin to invest in other people's lives.

Well, 30 days turned into 60 days, and then into 90. I will tell you...I'm different now. My friends would probably agree, but I can honestly say I don't desire their approval anymore. It's funny how when we turn attention away from ourselves, we end up feeling more complete in the end. Because truly, the only thing that completes us is God.

Dear Lord, forgive me for seeking approval from anyone but You. Teach me to be silent so I can hear others and most importantly, hear You. Bring to my attention, in a way that only You can, times when I am becoming self-absorbed during conversations. Thank You for loving me enough to help me grow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Janice Baskins Banks
Doug Henderson & Kathy Tippett (college years)
Kathryn & Elbert Tippett
Kathryn Tippett
Ricky Tippett

Kathy Tippett college FWBBC
Tippett family with Bert in the middle

Monday, January 16, 2017


My younger brother, Ricky Tippett, shares a story from our family.  It's one worth preserving!
Ricky. . .the younger

Papa and the Mule
My Dad died in 1993, and I often think about the legacy he left me as a boy and later as a man. Filled with wisdom and discernment, his quiet way drew people to seek him out for counsel.
One day, many years before he died, Dad told me a story about his father—my Papa—from my Dad’s younger days on the farm. Though poor in many ways, my parents were rich with strong families that loved God and loved people. Farming can be a tough life and I think that’s a major reason Dad decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy as soon as he graduated from high school.
Daddy, the enlisted sailor

When Dad was a boy Papa hitched up their only mule and went out behind the house to plow the field. Everything was going well, until about the end of the third furrow and that was when the mule decided he had plowed enough. Stubbornly standing still, the mule refused to take another step. Papa snapped the reins and talked to the mule. “Come on, now! Let’s go! Work to do!”
But the mule just stood there refusing to budge.
Dad smiled as he watched the scene unfold, but he had enough sense not to laugh at times like this. Papa had his own boiling points and this was not a time for a son to snicker at his father’s frustration. Dad told me that he looked down or back at the house and Papa didn’t see him grinning.
Papa Tippett with Lloyd Jr.
Back at the mule, however, it was not going so well. By this time, Papa was pulling on the mule’s bridle and yelling at him to come on and plow. With each tug Papa’s mood changed from irritation to anger and now to the final level.
No longer smiling, Dad just watched Papa’s futile efforts to convince that mule to move forward.
Not sure whether it was a warning to the mule or just rage talking, Papa screamed, “Fine! Just stay right there!”
Stomping off to the barn about a hundred yards away, Papa soon came back out with a huge four-by-four post in his hands. While Papa was not a big, heavy man, he was a tall, lanky man and the post in his hands looked small. But there was nothing small about it.
Now standing in front of the immovable mass of flesh, Papa held the post up to the mule’s eyes so he could clearly see it. “You see this post? Well, you better see it,” Papa yelled. “Cause I’m about to lower it onto your mangy head if you don’t start plowing right now!”
Not convinced, evidently, the mule just stood there staring back. As if Papa was counting it down, …. 3…. 2…. 1…..

Papa raised that post over his head with both arms and with all of the force he could muster and all of the rage in his head, he whacked that mule on the top of his head, right between the eyes.
Dad said that he saw that big old mule drop to the ground so fast that he never even saw his knees buckle. It was just dead weight that hit the ground so quickly it didn’t even seem real.
No longer smirking, Dad was shocked. He remembered thinking, “Oh, my goodness! Daddy his just killed our only mule!”
The mule’s eyes were closed and he was absolutely dead still. Papa showed no signs of remorse and seemed glad the mule moved at last, even if it was in the wrong direction and for the last time.
Dad was wondering what they were going to do without a plowing mule. Papa was just staring down at his dead mule.
There was another surprise to come. Dad noticed after a few minutes that one of the mule’s hind legs twitched. Then another leg moved and suddenly the mule jumped up to a standing position and without another word from Papa, the mule started to plow right where he had left off.
Dad said that Papa had to hurry to catch up to the mule and get ahold of the reins. I remember smiling when Dad talked about how the mule never stopped the rest of the day, but plowed the whole field until the sun went down.
Then one morning I came across this verse in Psalm 32 and this scene from decades ago played out again in my mind…
Be ye not as the horse,
or as the mule, which have no understanding:
whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle,
lest they come near unto thee.
(Ps. 32:9)
While the mule is known for being stubborn the horse is known for being uncontrollable and impetuous. Both are bad. Both want to go their own way. Both need the controlling bit and bridle. One is stubborn. One is impetuous and impulsive.
I don’t have a good horse story about being brash and headstrong. But I don’t need a horse story. I have been like that old mule enough to learn that I need God to control me. That’s why I am drawn to the verse preceding this negative verse about two animals. I love verse 8 –
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
I can go my own way like the horse or the mule or I can learn from them.
Regardless, God always gets His way.
Submission is a lot easier without scars left behind by a four-by-four post.
Ricky Tippett